LAHORE: The verification procedure, pattern of registration and auction vouchers of army vehicles have been agreed upon between Army Headquarters and the Punjab Department of Excise.
The auction vehicles will be registered only in the ‘tie-up’ section of the motor branch of the Excise Department in the proposed 18 cities across Pakistan.
Other than the authorised tie-up section, no other MRA of motor branch will register these vehicles.
Provincial Minister for Excise Hafiz Mumtaz Ahmed and Punjab Excise Director General Zahid Hussain have deployed excise staff to strictly monitor the registration of auctioned vehicles. Secret duty has been imposed while army authorities have also set up their own system to monitor the data of Army Auction Vehicles registered in the Excise Department.
Besides confirming the auction vouchers, the department would verify a stampede-style security feature (tie-up) via army officials manually.
However, the Excise Department has sent a summary to army officials for using the online verification method, emphasising its significance. After the orders of the Lahore High Court last month, the Excise Department was working with senior officials of the Central Ordinance Depot of the GHQ to introduce a digitised method regarding the registration of army’s auctioned vehicles in order to refrain from any kind of scam, considering previous incidents of frauds.
After talks with army officials, the Excise Department also sent the minutes of meeting to Punjab chief minister for approval.
The Excise DG has issued the SOPs for registration of army vehicles where the information of 18 districts, recommended by the army, and further details were mentioned.
After the issuance of these SOPs, ambiguity emerged that whether all the MRAs of the selected 18 districts are authorised to register these auctioned army vehicles or only the tie-up MRA, which registers commercial vehicles, have this authority.
Sources added that some fraudsters have started contacting for the registration of Army Auction Vehicles having unverified documents in order to take advantage of this ambiguity, especially at the Defense Excise Office in Lahore. At this office, the involvement of some of the inspectors of Farid Court Road office has been found.
Speaking to the media, the Excise DG said after consultation with the military authorities, Lahore, Gujranwala, Gujrat, Faisalabad, Rawalpindi, Sahiwal, Sargodha, Jhang, Khanewal, Vehari, Multan, Bahawalpur, DG Khan, Sialkot, Okara, Jhelum, Chakwal and Attock are authorised Motor branch’s MRA tie-up.
These districts would register the army vehicles after completion of all required details, including vehicle auction vouchers and VICS vehicle passes, as per the SOPs.
Moreover, no other MRA except the designated Motor Registration Authority branches has the authority to register an Army Auction Vehicle.
If an unauthorised person is found doing so, the strictest action will be taken against them. People who do not have computerised vouchers and have previous old vouchers can register vehicles by December 31 of this year.
All regional directors have also been advised to strictly monitor the registration of army auction vehicles and ensure the registration at the tie-up branch only.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 19th, 2019.